Lower Wisconsin Riverway designated a Wetland of International Importance
The BLM Northeastern States District was part of a collaborative effort that worked to secure the Lower Wisconsin Riverway Floodplain Wetlands as a Wetland of International Importance under the International Ramsar Convention on Wetlands. The BLM is responsible for the management of several public islands within the Lower Wisconsin Riverway.
The BLM islands on the Lower Wisconsin Riverway include many large floodplain forests with small pockets of remnant prairie. These islands have extensive sandbars that attract day-use paddlers and campers. Northeastern States District staff partner with the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, Youth Conservation Corps, and others to manage invasive species and wildlife habitat on the islands.
"This designation further strengthens our network of partners by providing a vision for all of us. We look forward to continuing our efforts of caring for these beautiful public places,” said Francis Piccoli, Acting District Manager, BLM Northeastern States District Office.
The 48,000-acre Lower Wisconsin Riverway is Wisconsin’s sixth “Ramsar site” and its second largest. The site covers the longest free-flowing stretch of river in the Midwest and includes approximately 17,700 hectares from the Prairie du Sac dam to the confluence with the Mississippi River.
Other partners who worked to secure the Lower Wisconsin Riverway Ramsar designation include the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, Ho Chunk Nation, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Senator Tammy Baldwin, Friends of the Lower Wisconsin Riverway, Lower Wisconsin State Riverway Board, Wisconsin Wetlands Association, and private landowners. Many other local organizations and public officials also supported the nomination.
Wisconsin’s five other Ramsar sites are: Horicon Marsh, Kakagon/Bad River Sloughs, Door Peninsula Coastal Wetlands, and Chiwaukee Illinois Beach Lake Plain, and Upper Mississippi River Floodplain Wetlands.